Monday, 20 April 2009

NFD by Big Max

The Northern Frontier District of Kenya is one of the most out of the way places that you can go to. It is basically the Northern area of Kenya. The area of Somali bandits, the Chalbi desert and Lake Turkana.

We were fortunate enough to not run into any bandits (they've all gone home to be pirates) but we were awed by the lake and disorientated by the vast pans of the Chalbi.

Apparently you can swim in Turkana, as long as there is someone standing on the bank to throw stones at the crocodiles. Hmm. We bunked out of that option and admired from a distance. It is a beautiful lake, fed only by the Omo river and with no outlet except evaporation. As a result it's very salty. But still spectacular.

The Chalbi is nothing like the Sahara. It floods occasionally leaving massive, wide open salt pans with a crusty top but soft sand underneath. We attempted a crossing but were beaten for the first time and had to switch routes.

And it is impossible to talk about that area without mentioning North Horr. The centre point, yet as remote as Gokwe or John O'Groats. I liked it though. It had character that can only develop in those circumstances. We were able to find chai, chappatis and there was even a bar with satellite tv.

This only skims the very surface of the very north of Kenya b ut hopefuuly gives some idea as to some of the aspects.

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